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Caught Drink Driving

By: Dave Howell - Updated: 12 Oct 2019 | comments*Discuss
Drink Driving Blood Alcohol Level Breath

The police can stop you if they suspect you are driving under the influence of alcohol. Also, if the police suspect you are about to drive a vehicle (for instance you have your keys in your hands and are just leaving a pub) you can also be stopped and asked to take a drink-driving test. You may also be asked to take a breath test if you are involved in a road traffic accident.

There are three general drink-driving offences:

  • Being in charge of a vehicle when you are over the legal alcohol limit.
  • Driving a vehicle whilst over the legal alcohol limit.
  • When stopped by the police failing to give a breath test.

At the Roadside

The first test that you will take after the police have stopped you will be a breath test. You are breaking the law if you refuse to take a breath test, but if you do refuse you will be arrested and taken to a police station where a sample of your blood or urine will be taken for testing. Note that only a doctor can take a sample of your blood, and only with your consent.

At the Police Station

When you arrive at the police station two samples will be taken. The lowest reading will be used as evidence in your case. You should be given a printout of the alcohol level that has been detected for your own records. Usually the samples are just breath samples, but the police can request that you give a blood or urine sample. This may happen if you are unable to give a breath sample, as you are too drunk. Also, the police may not have a breath device or a qualified officer to operate it available. A doctor may also have informed the police that your condition may be because of drugs and not alcohol.

What Happens if I am Charged?

If your alcohol tests are positive you will be told your rights and cautioned about anything you say can be used in evidence against you. The details of your offence will be recorded on your charge sheet that you will have to sign. You will be given a copy for your records. You will then be free to go and expected to appear at the court at the stated date and time on your charge sheet.

The Penalties

If you are found guilty of drink-driving the penalties are:
  • A ban from driving for at least 1 year.
  • A fine of up to £5,000.
  • Between 3 and 11 points to be put on your licence.
  • A prison sentence of up to 6 months.

What are the Legal Alcohol Levels?

You can be found guilty of drink driving if you have the following levels of alcohol in your blood:
  • 35 microgrammes of alcohol in a100 millilitres of your breath.
  • 80 milligrammes of alcohol in a 100 millilitres of your blood.
  • 107 milligrammes of alcohol in a 100 millilitres of your urine.

Note that if one of the two breath tests you will take is below 39 microgrammes you will not be charged. If your breath test is between 40 and 50 microgrammes you must be offered the chance to give an alternative blood or urine specimen. However, if your breath test is over 51 microgrammes you will be automatically charged and face an appearance in court.

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As i say in previous message my partner managed to swerve to avoid a full on collision, but thedrink driver did smash into the front corner of her car off ramming her off the road inyo a ditch nearly turning the car over, basically its a right off, I say she was lucky because 1m away was an electricity pylon to supply a local farm that could of been hit and made things much worse, All 3 ended up in hospital with various injuries but we do not know about the driver,
Ben - 12-Oct-19 @ 2:43 AM
What happens if the drink driver causes an accident, injuring people and hitting 3 cars, bad enough that they have ripped the wheel off there own car they are driving will they get bail ? Im enquiring as my partner child and mother in law was recently rammed off the road an hurt,very luckily she managed to swerve to avoid this drunk driver who passed over the road into on coming Traffic, we have heard nothing back from the police 3 days later He was arrested at scene failing breath test was told 5 time's Over limit at 5pm Wednesday afternoon,
Ben - 12-Oct-19 @ 2:28 AM
I got arrested friday for drink driving. I blew 51 on road side after only having 1 drink which was a vol of 5.6 and hadn't eaten in 2 days. I then blew 46 in the police station. Will I get a ban or loose my license?
Dan - 6-Oct-19 @ 10:04 AM
My son blew 41 on the breathalyser and was charged with drink driving,should he by law been offered a blood test,?
Pye - 19-Sep-19 @ 10:31 AM
Hey Johnboy, yes is the answer. You should really just be honest now before you make it worse. Just pop into a police station and have an honest chat. Honesty is the best policy.
Dee and Dee - 19-Sep-19 @ 2:01 AM
Police pulled behind me at home saying they saw me bump up curb and had a a phone call of resident I was in car talking for about 5 mins b4 they pulled up behind me.im on medication. Im very uneasy on feet always. They asked for test which I did 3 times on roadside he informed me that none had worked..took me to station and charged with failure with no good reason. I said I did what they asked..I asked solicitor what do I do she asked if they asked for blood or urine. No they didn't so she advised me toplead not guilty on day. On heradvice..now up on 15 October and don't know what outcome could be. Cant get legal aid. Even though I only get 312.00 monthU.C. So im confused and scared and really don't know where to turn..
Kaza - 8-Sep-19 @ 5:04 PM
Hi my son is on licensebut was arrested for drink drivingand a smite bump in to another carhe was 71 tested and is due infor. Hearinghow long is he going to prison for
Cind - 19-Aug-19 @ 5:30 PM
My reading was 42 what is this in milligrams please
Gaz - 22-Jul-19 @ 6:47 PM
My friend was in a car crash.She blew 56 only one test and was then taken to hospital and her blood taken. What could this mean for her? She is awaiting a letter of her results but can take up to 8 weeks. This would be her first offence. Thanks
Hmc - 4-Jul-19 @ 11:08 PM
Came off a long haul flight and crashed into another car, no one hurt! Blew 105 and was taken to hospital where I gave a urine sample around 4 hours after. It is my first offence. I was released straight after I gave the urine test and am awaiting the results. What am I likely to receive in terms of punishment.
will - 30-Jun-19 @ 7:33 AM
My son was arrested for drink driving blew 40 and was taken to police station they took blood and released him in the morning saying he has to wait for a letter , this is his first crime hes committed ,what is he expecting to get he co operated in a positive manner.
Carl1 - 11-Jun-19 @ 11:04 AM
My partner blew a 71 but was taken to a&e and was given a blood test around 5 hours after first blowing. Would it have dropped enough by then for him to pass??
Arw - 8-Jun-19 @ 1:46 PM
Hi after abit I’d advice I blew 70 at the station after crashing my car I didn’t think I was over the limit it was stupid of me I have a good job and care for my mom iv had a rough few weeks I’m scared I will go to prison
Key - 3-Jun-19 @ 12:24 AM
On my charge sheet it said failed to provide a breath test without reason and nothing else even though two further breath tests were taken 4/5 hours later, but I wasn’t given the results verbally or written. Should I have been given theses results on my charge sheet that I signed? When I failed the breath test three times because I couldn’t blow long enough I was told that this happens and not to worry. When I read that I’d failed to do the breath test without reason the officer just said to mention it in court. Can you explain?
Pip - 29-May-19 @ 10:45 AM
I stupidly drank and drove. I was not pulled over but concerned that the pub has me on cctv drinking and then driving off. Can I still be charged?
Johnboy - 26-May-19 @ 4:05 PM
I was pulled over by a police officer because he said that I’d had a slight wobble. He asked if I’d had a drink and I said that I’d had two small glasses of wine. He didn’t have a breathalyser with hi and so he took me to the police station. I did three breathing tests but I failed to do them for long enough. I asked them what this means and what would happen next. I was informed that this sometimes happens and not to worry. I was given an information sheet that explained what happened but when I read that I’d failed to do a breath test without reason I questioned this, because I know that this wasn’t true. The officer said to point this out in court. I then found out that this warrants an instant ban. I have a Ventolin inhaler and had all this been explained to me at the time I would have mentioned it, but I was lead to believe that I shouldn’t worry. Can you advise ? Thank you.
Pip - 25-May-19 @ 11:57 AM
Police do not have to offer an alternative blood or urine sample if you blow between 40-50 anymore. It’s sufficient to charge.
Edward - 5-May-19 @ 9:15 PM
I tested at 44 on both tests at the station and wasn’t offered an alternative blood or urine test. We this work in my favour at court? Thank you
RD - 3-May-19 @ 2:12 PM
Had few drinks the night before. Woke up in the morning and felt alright. Drove home and the fault of the car had caused the crashed. I couldn’t control it. Then first step was to called the police. They arrived and want to breath me and blew 65. At the station then blew 72. Both readings are different. This is also my first drink drive conviction too. Have clean license for 18 years. What will happen to me when arrive at court please? Thank you
Gooner - 1-May-19 @ 1:21 PM
Caught drink driving blew a 40, first driving offence, fully co-operated with the police. Got court may the 7th, you say if you blow 40-50 they need to do a urine test or blood test, didn’t do either. What’s likely to be the outcome?
Tom - 24-Apr-19 @ 12:12 AM
Arrested for driving under influence of alcohol. Reading 74 Microgrammes of Alcohol in 100 millilitres. The recordings were not printed and I was not given a copy of the reading. This was taken at 09:3415/04/19 in the morning and I was not driving the vehicle when arrested I was suspended for drinking and driving on 09/2009 for being DD at 41mg and have held a clean license since. I was on antidepressants and painkillers on the morning of 15/04/19 and I wasn’t aware I was over the prescibed limit of alcohol as felt fine but suffering from a panic attack
Mark - 21-Apr-19 @ 1:47 AM
I was arrested for drink driving I wasnt driving the car I was parked up the engine was on as I had the heating on but when I was given my sheet for the reading the highest was 44 lowest was 33 I was charged and got go to court is this right as the readings wasnt even high
Jj - 20-Apr-19 @ 8:01 PM
"Note that if one of the two breath tests you will take is below 39 microgrammes you will not be charged. If your breath test is between 40 and 50 microgrammes you must be offered the chance to give an alternative blood or urine specimen. However, if your breath test is over 51 microgrammes you will be automatically charged and face an appearance in court." If I wasnt offered this could it void the charge
JOHN - 9-Apr-19 @ 3:21 PM
"Note that if one of the two breath tests you will take is below 39 microgrammes you will not be charged. If your breath test is between 40 and 50 microgrammes you must be offered the chance to give an alternative blood or urine specimen. However, if your breath test is over 51 microgrammes you will be automatically charged and face an appearance in court."
JOHN - 9-Apr-19 @ 3:20 PM
I passed my test 2 month ago, I stupidly risked driving whilst under the influence of alcohol aye crashed into a bollard damaged my car quite badly, got pulled over blew into the breathalyser 3x and failed do it properly so officers put it down too me not cooperating so has on my charge sheet failed to give specimen. Drink driving and resisting arrest what will I get I have no previous driving offences. Any help or advice would be appreciated
Gavw - 7-Apr-19 @ 6:13 PM
I was arrested for drink driving, I blew 72 and then 70 It’s my first ever offence and have a clean license, what will I get?
Nic - 1-Apr-19 @ 7:39 AM
I foolishly drunk drove hit a parked car left the scene and was arrested outside my house I’m being charged with leaving scene and failing to provide a specimen It’s my first driving offence I feel so awful I’ve let everyone down as well as causing inconvenience to the other car ownerwhat will happen to me I feel so depressed
Stupid - 4-Mar-19 @ 7:19 PM
I was charged with a drink driving offence blew 54 got to attend court in February this is my first conviction with the police ever what am I likely to receive
Stevo - 21-Jan-19 @ 3:16 PM
I got pulled over failed the roadside breath test so then was taken to the police station where I was breathalysed again and blew 43 and 41 they took my lower reading on the charge sheet is says my reply was” I would like a blood test” however the police didn’t give me one? Now I have a court date on the 28/11/18 and am very confused on why they didn’t give me a blood test
Aakash - 22-Nov-18 @ 10:59 PM
Fool - Your Question:
I have just been caught drinking driving and blow 55 1st offence what would I get if I say guilty. Is it a years ban and a fine.

Our Response:
Please see the link here, which will answer your question more fully.
CourtroomAdvice - 14-Jun-18 @ 10:08 AM
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